In a fresh warning to Pakistan, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Mike Pompeo has said if Pakistan does not eliminate the alleged safe havens inside its territory, the United States will do “everything we can” to destroy them, Tolo news reported.
The warning came after he was asked at the Reagan National Defence Forum in Simi, California, on Saturday how the Trump administration would persuade Pakistan to adhere to its new Afghan strategy.
“You begin by seeking their assistance,” Pompeo said.
The purpose of US Defence Secretary James Mattis’s visit to Pakistan is to “make clear the president’s [Trump] intent” and “deliver the message that we would love you to do that”, Pompeo said.
During his Pakistan visit, Mattis met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
He explained how the Trump’s administration would deal with the situation if Pakistan ignored US request “In the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that (ridding their country of insurgent bases), we are going to do everything we can to make sure that that safe havens no longer exist.”
Pakistan denies sheltering the militants, and the issue has emerged as a major irritant to bilateral ties between the US and Pakistan.
In October Mattis had said the US would try “one more time” to work with Pakistan before taking “whatever steps are necessary” to address its alleged support for the militants.